Blogging is fun. It is a great way to put your ideas out there for public consumption and get feedback as well.
But what if you don’t know anything about blogging past just typing in your WordPress site?
After all, you are not going to present a 500-letter essay to your readers. It only spells out one word:
So what do you do at this point?
I have the perfect answer for you. In fact, I will use my own case study to walk you through the blogging tools and resources you should use to turn your article into a sparkly blog post.
I have divided these tools into categories:
- Content Creation
- Content Spicing
- Content Editing
CONTENT CREATION TOOLS
Where do you get inspiration from?
Now I know coming up with great content that is bound to wow your readers can sometimes be difficult. They expect you to write interesting posts which they can ultimately enjoy and share as well.
Seems like a hard stretch?
When I start to plan on what to possibly post, I use:
- Blogging Communities
I haven’t really arranged my options in any specific way but for sure I would recommend them anytime.
Long gone are the days when Pinterest was known to be a lady’s best friend. It is still a great source for recipes, DIY crafts, and jewelry, but the game has upgraded over the years. It is now gaining popularity for bloggers to share their content in strikingly amazing pins.
I have come across so many articles about how to use Pinterest for blogging and how to market using Pinterest. I will sample some great posts which have inspired me to open a Pinterest account too.
- Dustin Stout: Pinterest – The Blogging Goldmine
- Krista: What to Do When No One is Reading your Blog
- Amanda Cross: 7 Helpful Tips to Starting a Pinterest Account
Here’s the deal with Pinterest.
It is a rich catalog of content. I mean, rich! And it’s a bonus because it is visually-oriented so its appeal is very high. If you are a blogger and you need content, then Pinterest is for you.
How do you go about it?
Once you open your profile, there are obvious steps you should take.
- Uploading a professional looking picture of YOURSELF as the profile photo. You want people to see the face attached to the pins you upload and save as well as grow a connection.
- Filling out your bio. Here is where you highlight what you offer as a blogger. On this note, use some keywords in your niche. If you offer lifestyle advice, then insert something like “Lifestyle Blogger”. This will help a lot in popping up in the results when someone happens to search the same keyword.
- I highly recommend switching your Pinterest profile to a business profile so as to set up a feature known as rich pins. A business profile allows you to analyze the performance of your pins, see how many people are pinning your content on their boards and add your blog URL to your pins.
- Use the search bar wisely. For example, when I am sourcing for inspiration, I type “Blogging Tips” and a million results pop up. The results range from individual pins, boards, communities and people (this is why you should use keywords in your bio) and I can now view any in my discretion.
When you click on a pin labeled, for example, How to Start Blogging, you get the blog URL from where it was saved. (A feature of rich pins).
I basically visit the websites and get inspired from the content being put out. It also gives me ideas of what other bloggers are pinning. I have used this technique to create my own pins while also getting content from other bloggers in my own niche.
That’s how I use Pinterest for content creation. (And it’s a win-win because I also get to engage with bloggers whose work I would never have come across).
Want to start your own Pinterest account? Here’s your chance!
Trust me, being a blogger can be lonely, especially when you are short of content and you can’t think of anything.
This is where blogging communities come in handy.
I had a hard time getting myself into active blogging communities and I am still in the process of joining even more. I did a little bit of outsourcing from Facebook, Pinterest and Google Plus.
Here’s why I recommend blogging communities.
You are basically among people who are like-minded and share the same passion as you. This is where you can really collect a lot of information, hold discussions and get industry feedback.
If you want a community of bloggers ready to help, join Bloggers Unite on Facebook. We’re ready to engage!
Find yourself a community that allows sharing of blog links since some have strict regulations against it. When you hit a block in coming up with content, then browse through the relevant links that you may get inspiration from. This is still something I am trying to master but it is very doable.Look for blogging communities where you can share, engage and spark discussion. Click To Tweet
This could probably be the best method there ever has been for drawing content from.
I have used it before and here is why I like it.
When you type in a keyword in the search bar, BuzzSumo analyzes the word and picks out articles and blog posts that have received high engagement and social shares. You will also be able to see how many outbound links (people linking back to the article) and shares every article has.
I even used it when I was writing this post and it helped me know what type of content to publish. Other than that it is great to analyze the keywords that are bound to perform the best.
I fully recommend this for you the next time you want to get content and inspiration from thousands of articles.
Try BuzzSumo out NOW!
CONTENT SPICING TOOLS
How about the sugar and spice?
When it comes to churning out blog posts, I can become very wordy and almost forget that my readers may actually not even read the entire post. But I don’t think it’s always about the length of your blog post as much as the quality of it.
I like to spice up my blog while still in its draft mode by:
Adding some high-quality images.
There’s nothing as endearing to a blog post as images that really draw in the reader. I would dread reading a blog post that is 2500 words long without a single image.
On that note, there is an example of a high-quality image for you, courtesy of one of the tools I will mention later.
There are two kinds of images a blog needs:
- The Feature Image
- Three (or more) Pinnable Images (within the post)
The Feature Image is the first image your reader sees and is able to judge whether or not your blog post is worth their time.
Remember that first impressions matter, always.
It’s the first impression your post makes to a potential reader and if it sucks, no one will want to read your post. When choosing a feature image, the WordPress editor guides you on the dimensions that are easily visible when socially shared on Facebook or Instagram.
If you don’t know the dimensions for social media images, check out this social media cheat sheet that explains it all.
The Images within the post should be clear, communicate a certain point and be shareable.
On this note, I like to add images that can be pinned by readers because it encourages sharing of the post.
Ensure you have installed one of my favorite WordPress plugins, Social Warfare, which automatically places a “Pin It” button on your images among many other cool installations.
Being my highly rated blogging tool, Canva has a wide array of dimensions and templates for images.
- Instagram Posts
- Pinterest Graphics
- Logos, Presentations, and Business Cards
- Facebook Post and Header
- Twitter Post and Header
- Email Headers
AND MUCH MORE…
If you are not using Canva, then you are missing out on the amazing designs in store for you. Not only does it have templates but layouts for different posts. You can add text, upload your own images or start from scratch on a plain canvas.
Here are some images I have designed with Canva over the past one month of my blogging.
It’s all up to you.
I learned about Pexels from Dustin Stout, an insightful blogger who offers tips and advice as well as social media resources. He highlighted various places one can source for free images and one popped out for me.
It is a website full of free stock photos in any manner of dimensions you need. And if that’s not enough, you can even specify the niche of your photos. So when you want abstract photos, Pexels filters out the results and gives you abstract photos on a silver platter.
Do you want evidence?
For free stock photos and an amazing browsing experience, check Pexels out and you won’t regret it.
Time to patch up
There’s nothing as off-putting as a well-researched article full of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and punctuation problems.
It only spells doom for the kind of blogger who doesn’t go back to edit and proofread their work. Actually, I take an entire day after writing my draft just editing and reviewing my draft. It’s that important, folks.
The dilemma comes up when you have rolled out a very long blog post and you need to publish it due to time constraints or whatever. Is it worth risking it to edit it and then forget to publish it in time?
No. At least not with one of the most effective tools I have ever come across.
Who wouldn’t gush over a free grammar checker that eliminates pronunciation mistakes and spelling errors that bloggers can’t help avoiding? I have used Grammarly so many times on my blog it has become a second nature.
I am pretty sure my high school English teacher would have gone crazy over this tool.
What are the merits?
- You can easily download a Chrome extension on your device. This gives Grammarly the liberty to edit just about any message you type in.
- It corrects mistakes that are easily made such as pronunciation and spelling. (Who knew it was spelled occurrence and not occurence?)
- It easily allows you to add words to your Grammarly dictionary.
- You could choose to ignore some of the corrections. It is flexible.
Are you convinced Grammarly is the best editing tool?Make sure you edit your work seamlessly using Grammarly for a great reading experience Click To Tweet
Put an end to your editing woes by creating your own Grammarly account here.
The blogging tools go beyond the three aspects that I have highlighted in this post. I will be posting a spin-off article on three more categories of tools and resources that bloggers SHOULD have. I will also be updating this post in case I need to add a few information missed out.
COMMENT DOWN BELOW ON THE TOOL THAT YOU WOULD DEFINITELY USE FOR YOUR BLOG. I’d love to hear from you.
Here is a video format of this post for you to watch and share.